Jakarta: Striker Akashdeep Singh led the charge pumping in six goals including a hat trick as India roughshod Sri Lanka 20-0 to complete their Pool ‘A’ league assignment with an all win record in the Men’s hockey competition in the 18th Asian Games here on Tuesday.
India topped the pool, scoring a record 76 goals in five matches, while conceding just three. They will now take on Malaysia in the semi-finals to be played on August 30.
For the winners, who led 7-0 at half time, the goal scorers were Akashdeep Singh (6), Rupinder Pal, Harmanpreet, Mandeep Singh (3 each), Lalit Upadhyay (2), Vivek Prasad, Amit Rohidas and Dilpreet (1 each).
Earlier in other matches, hosts Indonesia recorded their first win when they beat Hong Kong 3-2. Hong Kong ended the league without any win.
In Pool ‘B’, Thailand scored their only win defeating Kazakhstan 3-2, while Malaysia pounded Oman 7-0.
Indians toyed with minnows Sri Lanka and virtually used the match for target practice. Though the winners dominated the 60 minutes, but their pattern of scoring was uneven-they scored 4 goals in first quarter, three in next and after the breather hit the rival goals seven times and then six more in the last quarter.
Sri Lanka who, won two matches in the pool, beating Hong Kong 4-1 and Indonesia 3-1, conceded 41 goals while scoring 7.
Indians should have scored more but for the missing several penalty corners and some easy chances. The winners took the proceedings lightly.
Sri Lanka players caved in before the match started and they did not put up any worthwhile opposition to their fancied rival.
“We played the match as seriously as we played other matches earlier,” said Harendra Singh. “it is not in our hand to pick our opposition.”
“I am very happy that we maintained winning momentum throughout the league assignments,” he said, adding “we opened the league with a 17-0 win over Indonesia and closed it with 20-goal victory.”
The coach said other teams also played against the rivals we face. We played free game even against Korea, which was really a close game.
Former National Sports Editor of UNI writes for Sakal Times